Everyone brings back something from their travels, whether that is simply memories and photographs, or something more. During our early days of traveling, which was all within the United States, we used to collect coffee mugs from everyplace we visited. We even bought special coffee mug racks to display all of our mugs with colorful pictures depicting what is unique about each location. While they were fun to look at, it very quickly became too much to display as the number of coffee mugs grew year after year. Since those days, we have gone with a different approach for finding things that we want to bring home with us to remind us of the places that we’ve visited.
Walk through any tourist shop and you will find many of the common things that people collect during their travels. Keychains, refrigerator magnets, shot glasses, coffee mugs, snow-globes, and pens are all among the items that you can usually find in almost any city around the world. Although we used to collect some of those items, now we try to find things that are more unique and often hand-made by local artisans. We love to get inexpensive paintings or small works of art from the different places that we’ve visited. When we buy a painting, we will purchase unframed so that it can be rolled up and protected during our flight back home. We keep them on display and can fondly remember where we found each of the individual items. Some items are very indicative of the city or country, others we simply found intriguing and we still make a connection to the country where we found it.
In addition to bringing back pieces of art or other unique items, we also bring back money from the places that we visit as well as tourist maps. It is our intention to one day make a collage out of all of the unique tourists maps that proudly display the top tourist attractions within the city. We also intend to someday display that currency that we’ve collected throughout our travels. And even though we purchase them prior to visiting different locations, we also collect the travel books that we use to plan our trips. Perhaps we’re a little weird, but we have a lot of travel items that we’ve collected on display throughout our home. We also have digital frames that rotate through photographs from our travels as well. Is there anything that you collect during your journeys and do you display them for others to see?
45 thoughts on “What Do You Collect When You Travel?”
We tend to bring coffee mugs back as gifts. Found a doozy in Switzerland, which yodels when you pick it up…our friends have had great fun with it. For ourselves we collect placemats now. They make a great conversation piece at the dinner table, with photos of places we have been
That is pretty cool. Never thought about placemats, that is a really good idea 🙂
I always collect ornaments then at Christmas I have a tree with nothing but travel ornaments on it.
We have collected some as well, but I don’t think we have one from every place.
I couldn’t find one in Paris while I was there.
This is such a fun idea!
I collect tea!!!
Fridge magnets. They’re small, unobtrusive, and you can get some very nice ones. Plus we have two fridges and a freezer to stick them on!
Haha, lots of space for them 🙂
I do keychains…and also keep currency and any travel guides.
We have seen some pretty neat keychains. Good idea to put currency in your guides.
Love your collection of mementos! I tend to look for something I already need, that way when it’s used I get to think happy thoughts about my experience and I have souvenirs scattered through my life-my raincoat from Seattle, my hiking backpack from the Philippines, a leaf potholder from Vermont, tea towels from China, coasters from Australia…etc. It encourages random moments of joy.
Thank you. That is a really good idea.
Love this post! I collect lapel pins from everywhere I go!
Thank you. That is a different idea 🙂
Coffee mugs, post cards, and currency. I wish I had thought about these collections during my earliest travels, but I didn’t, so a few are missing from my list. Never mind, though.
We have a few that are missing as well. Just a reason to go back 🙂
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I go the same route! I love having pieces from my travels that fit into my home. So far I’ve collected a handmade rug from Guatemala, embroidered pillow case from Mexico, a watercolour from Colombia, and a beautiful ring from Ecuador!
Wow, those sound amazing!
I am not much of a shopper, for me it is more important to capture special moments on camera and to make memories. If I ever buy anything, then it’s a mask. A handmade mask, for some reason I like those.
There are very cool handmade masks 🙂
Memories, photograps and postcards. Sometimes a smll souvenir – and sometimes a T-shirt.
Great way to capture memories in a variety of ways.
You have a very nice collection of souveniers! I also keep unused notes in smaller donominations – and also have a small papyrus from Egypt 🙂
Thank you :). We are going to use our paper bills as the top of a wet bar when we finish our basement. Lay them out and put plexi glass over it 🙂
Sounds GREAT! Have a drink on me! 🙂
We sometimes bring home art–purchased directly from the artist, if possible. But we also like to pick up clothing items, shoes or accessories. It’s fun to remember the trip every time you wear those Italian sandals or pretty shirt from the open air market.
Very nice 🙂
We’ve been in search of a clear money globe or bank to keep our currency from around the world in on display. It’s a great souvenir.
That is a neat idea.
You got us thinking about your idea and we found this 🙂 https://www.ebay.com/itm/223163596179
Great find and thank you for sharing!
I collect hat pins from everywhere I go, and sometimes a fridge magnet
Love that idea 🙂
Love your “little” collections – it reminds me of ours 🤩 Except of fridge magnets & maps we also bring home some sand from the beach! It is so much fun to compare them ❤
🙂 We have plenty of maps as well. we are looking taking the main area on the map and putting them together in a collage and hanging it up.
Sounds perfect 🙂
Toward the end of each trip, my husband and I write each other a post card to read when we get back home. Its a nice way to reflect on your trip, and its really fun to wait for it to come in the mail and finally read what your significant other wrote! We also collect magnets!
That is very cool idea!
Love all these! I always bring back the cheesiest postcard that I can find and usually a piece of jewelry.